Google will launch an online bookstore called Google Editions this summer. That’s the word from Chris Palma, Google’s Strategic Partner Development Manager, who confirmed the company’s plans today at a publishing industry panel in New York.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google Editions will launch in late June or July, and will let shoppers purchase digital copies of books found through Google’s book search. The WSJ also says Google Editions will provide a way for brick-and-mortar book sellers to make some money selling digital books:
[Google] will also allow book retailers — even independent shops — to sell Google Editions on their own sites, taking the bulk of the revenue. Google has yet to release details about pricing and which publishers are expected to participate.
When we reported this story last October, Google Editions was expected to launch with about a half-million books that would be readable on any device with a web browser — unlike other devices with proprietary technology, like Amazon’s Kindle. There’s no word in today’s reports if those plans have changed.
There’s more discussion on Techmeme.
Postscript: There’s a detailed help page with more information about Google Editions, including specifics written for rightsholders who may want to know about how to include or exclude their books from Google’s online store. What’s unclear, at least as I dig through all of those details, is what impact the ongoing Book Search settlement legal case could impact Google’s plans in this area.